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Inoculation of Sunflower with Endophytic Fungi Alters Soil Physio-Chemical Properties to Nullify Drought Stress

Inoculation of Sunflower with Endophytic Fungi Alters Soil Physio-Chemical Properties to Nullify Drought Stress

Nighat Seema1*, Muhammad Hamayun1, Husan Ara1 and Raham Sheer Khan

1Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 2Department of Biotechnology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

seemazakaria@gmail.com 

ABSTRACT

Endophytic fungi cooperate more meticulously with their host plants and may be more capable to solubilize nutrients from soil and provide it to their hosts. In current study, endophytic fungi inoculation significantly affected the soil properties such as soil texture, organic matters, EC and pH with or without 8% PEG induced drought stress. Upon inoculation of different endophytic fungi with or without drought stress, the trend in pH values of soil remain variable (7.61~7.96) compared with the pH value before experiment. The 8% PEG induced drought stress elevated the EC value, however, the inoculation of all types of endophytic fungi lowered the EC to provide smooth medium for plant growth. Interestingly, the inoculation did enhance the extent of usage of organic compounds by the plants available in the soil and hence lowered the contents. During drought stress, ammonium ion concentration was increased in all endophytic treated soil except that of A. niger. Similarly, inoculation of endophytic fungi did also increased the value of soil nitrate ions in the range of 26.86±1.34~39.39±1.97 mg kg-1 with or without drought stress. Inoculation of endophytic fungi increased the amount of extractable P and K in growth media compared to soil samples before experiment and after experiment in control samples. In case of micronutrients, only copper was decreased in endophytic treated soil, whereas iron, zinc and manganese did not follow any specific trend with or without drought stress. Hence, it is suggested that all these endophytic fungi should be evaluated under open field drought stress conditions before final recommendation for agronomic purpose. 

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 51, Iss. 5, Pages 1599-1997

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